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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHIN G    TORSO

not got a fancy dress and had not time to think of
one, so I wore a very fine oyster-coloured evening
dress.    Jemmett  appeared  in  very  old  tattered
trousers, a check shirt, a cap, and a red handkerchief
round his neck.   Later on in the evening his braces
burst and I had to stand on a seat and attach the
braces with a safety-pin to his shirt.   We found, at
the D6me, Claude McKay, the coloured author;
we took him with us.   It was surprising how good
Jemmett was at folding himself up in a taxi.   We
took another woman with us as well and we all got
in quite comfortably.   When we got to the ball we
found a Pole who was six feet five strutting about
being admired by everybody.   When I walked in
with Jemmett the Pole became pale with rage and
nobody took any notice of him at all for the rest of
the evening.   I danced with Jemmett.   He danced
beautifully, but my head only came up to his chest,
so one could not see anything or anybody while one
was dancing.   I found I had lost my hotel key after-
wards, and decided to go to the studio and stay
there.   I walked up the long flight of stairs which
was quite dark.    I lit a match and saw, to my
surprise, standing motionless outside the studio door,
a man in the uniform of a Samurai Warrior, com-
plete with two swords sticking out, one each side of
him.    He explained that he had dressed in the
studio and had left his trousers inside and was wait-
ing for my Pole to come back.   We both waited and
finally he arrived.   I put on the uniform the next
day and looked very odd in it and the Pole did some
drawings of me.
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